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Afghan Star
Afghan Star


Havana Marking


88 minutes

English, Dari and Pashto with English subtitles
    WINNER — World Cinema Documentary Audience & Directing Awards, Sundance Film Festival

"Remarkable! This eye-opening documentary shows how the fizzy American Idol concept becomes something profound and unique when set in war-ridden Afghanistan."
—Los Angeles Times

After thirty years of war and five devastating years of Taliban rule, pop culture is beginning to return to Afghanistan. Since 2005, millions have been tuning in to Tolo TV's wildly popular American Idol-style series Afghan Star. Like its Western predecessors, contestants compete for a cash prize and record deal. More surprisingly, the contest is open to everyone across the country despite gender, ethnicity or age. And when viewers vote for their favorites via cell phone, it is, for many, their first encounter with the democratic process.

This timely and moving film follows the dramatic stories of four young finalists—two men and two very brave women—as they hazard everything to become the nation's favorite performer. By observing the Afghani people's relationship to their pop culture, Afghan Star is the perfect window into a country's tenuous, ongoing struggle for modernity. what Americans consider frivolous entertainment is downright revolutionary in this embattled part of the world.

DVD Special Features:

  • 16:9 Anamorphic Transfer, enhanced for widescreen TVs
  • New Video Interview w/ director Havana Marking
  • Theatrical Trailers
    no Real Player clip
    no Windows Media clip
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